THE SEASON OF OUR REJOICING
Well, here we go again: rejoicing. It is all about happiness. We have many holidays that have a theme of happiness to them: Purim, Pesach, Shavuot, and even Chanukah all celebrate events that lead to great happiness. But on the holiday of Succot we don’t have an event we are celebrating in particular. We are actually celebrating joy itself. Pure, unadulterated joy. True simcha.
When joy is accompanied by an event leading to that joy it is limited to some degree.
But when joy is celebrated just for the sake of the joy itself, it is limitless.
And even if we do not feel happy, we need to be happy.
So how do you accompany that?
Not through thinking or meditating.
The only way is to sing and dance (or on chol hamoed, the intermediate days of succot, we play music and dance). When we sit in our succah and we drink wine to loosen up a bit and we make l’chaims, eat and sing, we feel happy. The happiness is because we are inside the succah, inside G-d’s loving embrace, feeling totally protected and safe, totally filled with love of Hashem and a connection to His holiness. The succah is such a holy place that we can feel that holiness almost in a tangible way.
So we celebrate holiness, kedushah, Hashems closeness and love for us, and that is cause for great joy.
To feel that joy and tap into that simcha, we just have to do some dancing. So get up and dance. Even if you did not feel happy until now, you will as you play some music and dance along. You start to feel pure joy. You rejoice because it is a mitzvah. But the greatest part is that it actually draws down happiness for the entire year.
So sing, dance, and be happy. This is the season of our rejoicing!
And of course this only increases on shemini atzeret and simchat Torah when we dance with the Torah. We don’t study the Torah on those days. We dance with it. Because there is something about dancing that transcends intellect, that allows one’s joy to emerge into reveleation. And as you dance, you feel that you are becoming free from all negative experiences of life, leaving behind all your problems. You basically dance your problems away.
So put on your best shoes and let’s get moving! Chag sameach!!